2.1: Volcano Hunters

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Unit 2, Matter and Energy Cycles, explores matter cycles and energy flows.

In this module students take on the role of volcanologists to identify volcanic sites around the globe, analyze real-life data from the Earth’s active volcanoes, and devise a plan to protect people from the dangers posed by eruptions.

Volcano Hunters Trailer video

Are all volcanoe...

How can we mo...

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L1. Driving Question: Are they hills and mountains, or volcanoes?

Anchor Phenomenon:

There are around 1,500 currently active volcanoes on the planet. The residents of Kathmandu, Rabaul, Auckland, and Yogyakarta all live in the shadow of hills and mountains.

Should they be worried?

In this lesson, students are introduced to the module and begin to explore what features distinguish volcanoes from mountains and other landforms. They use an interactive to identify patterns in volcano locations and begin to collect evidence to help them determine if a landform is a volcano or not. Then students turn their attention to the rock cycle, exploring the relationship between the rock cycle and volcanic life cycle by creating 2-D and 3-D models. Students observe the rock samples they were introduced to at the start of the lesson, writing scientific explanations about how rock types can help us determine if a landscape is volcanic or not.

Performance Expectation:

  • MS-ESS2-1 Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process

  • MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects

Should the Residents be Worried? 50 mins

Hands-On Investigation

Assessment

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Locations Map handout
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Locations Images handout
Volcano Hunters Trailer video

At the Fault Lines 50 mins

Reading for Evidence

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Volcano Explorer interactive

A Volcano Is Born 50 mins

Digital Investigation

Birth of a Volcano video
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Volcano Types Visual
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Volcano Builder interactive

Volcano Life Cycle 50 mins

Hands-On Investigation

Reading for Evidence

Video Investigation

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Life and Times of Mount Mazama Article handout
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Deep in the Earth visual
Life of an Island Shield Volcano video
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Weathering and Erosion Activity handout
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Deposition Activity handout
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Deposition Article handout
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Beneath the Surface Article handout
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Volcano Life Cycle Visual
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Weathering and Erosion Article handout

Rock Cycle Riders 50 mins

Hands-On Investigation

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Diamond and Graphite Visual
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Rock Samples visual
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Rock Cycle Landscape visual
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Rock Cycle Station Labels handout
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Riding the Rock Cycle Dice template

Model Landscapes 50 mins

Hands-On Investigation

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Rock Cycle Journeys visual

It Rocks! 50 mins

Reading for Evidence

Assessment

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Rock Cycle Landscape handout
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Different Types of Rocks: Model Rubric

Volcanic or Not Volcanic? 50 mins

Hands-On Investigation

Assessment

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Mountain and Volcano visual
Volcano Team: Study Volcano video
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Rock Samples ID Chart
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Is It a Volcano? Answer Key

Middle School Sampler

Grade 7

Volcano Hunters

Volcano Types visual